CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 3, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS … 8:30 a.m. ET July jobs report shows the unemployment rate rising from 8.2% to 8.3%.
11:57 a.m. ET: MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: “This economy has hurt American families right here and we need help. This is a place that is really struggling, and of course today, we just got a new number from the unemployment report, and it's another hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America because the president has not had policies that put American families back to work. I do. I'll put them in place and get America working again.”
12:02 p.m. ET: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN REMARKS ABOUT JOBS, CONGRESS AND TAXES FROM THE OLD EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING: “We learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of July. That means that we've now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million so far this year. Those are our neighbors, family members finding work and the security that comes with work. But let's acknowledge we've still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. We've got more work to do on their behalf, not only to reclaim all of the jobs that were lost during the recession but also to reclaim the kind of financial security that too many Americans had felt was slipping away from them for too long.”
When was the last time the United States did not take home the most medals in the summer Olympic Games?
On Fridays, we like to take a step back and learn from the “masters of the political class” to see things from a different perspective.
Our question today was sparked by the news that the NCAA picked former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to be Penn State University’s athletics integrity monitor after the massive child molestation scandal. This job is just another chapter in the life of a politician who has negotiated peace in Northern Ireland, investigated the use of steroids in baseball and led the Senate for six years.
Sen. George Mitchell’s resume is so varied, from the Senate to his work in Northern Ireland, from investigating steroids to researching peace options in the Middle East. What do you think his legacy will be?
Jim Manley, Senior Director at Quinn Gillespie, whose first job in Congress was as press assistant for Mitchell
“I am biased because of my long tenure with Sen. Kennedy, but I think his legacy will be his efforts to build a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. The negotiating skill we saw in the Senate, he brought to the intractable issues we saw in Northern Ireland. Like any good majority leader, he developed a well-developed patience muscle, which was an absolute requirement for those negations since, in many respects, the battles had been going on for years.”
Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent and anchor of “State of the Union with Candy Crowley, covered Mitchell while he was Senate majority leader in the mid-‘90s.
“If you look at the totality of Mitchell’s resume, I think you see the guy described in Teddy Roosevelt’s quote about the man in the arena. He knows the ‘triumph of high achievement’ (Northern Ireland), and he has failed while daring greatly (Middle East), and sometimes he failed and triumphed at the same time (Senate majority leader). But whatever the result, he has been a man in the arena, spending a lot of his life in worthy causes.”
Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and longtime observer of Congress
“Mitchell is going to go down as one of this generation's ‘wise men,’ someone who devoted a huge portion of his life and career to public service, who served in top capacities in state government, the judiciary, the Senate and the executive branch. But I suspect nothing will top his work as peacemaker in Ireland.”
In Mitchell’s new role, he will be asked to monitor a situation that many sports commentators have said has spiraled out of control. What experiences do you think he will pull from in this new role?
“The George Mitchell I knew in the Senate was at once an unfailingly polite, gentlemanly guy you could talk with easily and a steely, unyielding, teeth-clenching defender of what he thought was right. I think the first trait will give him entry, and the second makes him a good match up against a solidified culture. The guy helped bring about peace in Northern Ireland and guided the Senate through some fairly nasty times. He is equipped for this.”
“Here is a role where Mitchell can draw on every part of his life's work. He has been a judge, knows politics, is tough enough to call them as he sees them, has enough integrity that his judgments will be accepted. He is a great choice for the role, and I think will try to see that Penn State carries out its punishment fully but will also look to find ways to rebuild the institution down the road.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Congress closes loophole in stock trading law after CNN report
House Republicans have been forced to close a potential loophole on their much-touted insider trading law - a loophole CNN uncovered and reported about last month. Because of CNN's report, the Senate and House passed new legislation Thursday to close the loophole that could have allowed family members of some lawmakers to profit from inside information. – Deirdre Walsh and Dana Bash
Leading Drudge: 8.3%
The U.S. economy followed up a weak second quarter by creating more jobs than expected with 163,000 new positions added in July, but the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent. – Jeff Cox
Leading HuffPo: Obamacare Turns Into The Campaign Issue That Didn't Bark
Remember Obamacare, the president's grandest achievement and the Tea Party's worst nightmare? Voters in swing states are seeing megatons of political ads, but none from the Barack Obama or Mitt Romney campaign about the most ambitious and controversial new law in decades, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. – Howard Fineman
Leading Politico: Tea party to make its voice heard in Tampa
Don’t expect any fireworks from the tea party at the Republican National Convention. The 2012 gathering of party faithful in Tampa marks the first GOP convention since the tea party barrelled onto the scene in 2009. But instead of scheming to take the convention by storm — by rallying members to stage raucous protests or waging a political battle that could hurt presumptive nominee Mitt Romney — national tea party groups are using the convention to cement their ties with the Grand Old Party. – Robin Bravender
Leading The New York Times: In July Jobs Report, Something for Everyone
The two-part nature of the monthly jobs report often provides political parties an opportunity to cherry-pick their favorite parts — and the release on Friday of the July numbers was no exception. – Michael Shear
Leading Des Moines Register: Drought contributes to drying of Midwest economy
A new report shows the drought is beginning to drag down the Iowa and Midwest economies, and the impact is expected to grow. Reduced income for farmers struggling with drought-damaged corn and soybean crops — as well as higher commodity prices for livestock and ethanol producers and food processors — is expected to ripple through Iowa’s economy, from stunting manufacturing jobs to shrinking demand for tractors and increasing consumer costs at the grocery store. – Donnelle Eller
The political bites of the day
- Obama going for the angry man: He pays less, you pay more -
THE NARRATOR IN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S NEW AD, TITLED “STRETCH”: “You work hard, stretch every penny. But chances are, you pay a higher tax rate than him (picture of Mitt Romney). Mitt Romney made $20 million in 2010 but paid only 14% in taxes – probably less than you. Now, he has a plan that will give millionaires another tax break and raises taxes on middle-class families by up to $2,000 a year. Mitt Romney’s middle-class tax increase: he pays less; you pay more.”
- Perry: Don’t Pick Me -
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY TALKS ABOUT MITT ROMNEY’S POSSIBLE VP CHOICE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’s PETER HAMBY: "There are great and talented people out there, but vice presidential candidates are interesting choices that will probably only make two or three days worth of news, unless they make some huge gaffe. … As long as it's not me, I'll be cool."
- Cruz throws out the red meat -
REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE TED CRUZ AT THE RED STATE GATHERING IN FLORIDA: “We are winning this fight. We are turning this country around. The Senate is at a tipping point. … We've got a task to do. We have got to stop the spending, turn the debt around, got to get back to the Constitution. Because of your fearless, relentless clarion voices for liberty, we are getting it done. I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with each of you.”
- Change through chicken -
JON STEWART JOKES ON HIS LATE-NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “It just feels so good to be politically active. It’s a protest, baby, yeah. Something’s happening here. Finally, a form of activism Americans can fully embrace, affecting social change through the act of eating a fast food sandwich.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Hungry? Federal candidates, PACs & parties spent $32K on food from #ChickFilA in 2011-12. Republicans: $28,400; Democrats: $3700—
Robert Yoon (@yoonCNN) August 03, 2012
Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) August 03, 2012
Aaron Blake (@FixAaron) August 03, 2012
The unemployment rate rose because it's a % of a different group which changes in composition. The job creation # of 163K is more important—
Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) August 03, 2012
Donte Newman (@DonteNewman) August 03, 2012
Was there a nudge? RT @brianbeutler Cass Sunstein leaving the White House.—
Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) August 03, 2012
Mark Zuckerberg lost $423 million yesterday and is no longer one of the top 10 richest tech billionaires. I'm crying for him.—
Jaison De Montalegre (@JaisonDM) August 03, 2012
A team that competed only in the 1992 Olympics – the Unified Team – won 112 medals in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The team, which was made up of former Soviet bloc countries, also took home the most gold medals with 45.
The United States was second in both counts, with 108 medals overall and 37 golds, making 1992 the last year that the U.S. did not win the most medals in the Summer Olympics.
The 1992 Games were unique for other reasons, as well. Because of the end of the Cold War, it was the first Olympics without any boycotts since 1972 and possibly one of the most memorable Games because the Olympic committee allowed professional basketball players to compete – a decision that gave the world the Dream Team, arguably the best basketball team ever assembled.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congratulations to Bernard Lin (@blin11592) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. His detail – down to the medal count – was correct, and we would be stunned if that was just common knowledge for Mr. Lin. Even still, we are just happy that Christopher S. Brown (@chrisbrowntv) has been unseated.
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